By S. M. Hali
The 2014 Joint Statement on “Deepening China-Pakistan Strategic and Economic Cooperation” issued after a summit between Presidents of China Xi Jinping and Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, designated 2015 as the “China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges”.
The year was launched in Beijing last week by Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
The Chinese Vice President stated that China attaches great importance to Sino-Pak all-weather strategic friendship and hoped that both sides would actively conduct exchanges in all fields to strengthen people-to-people relations so that bilateral goodwill will be deeply rooted in hearts of the two peoples. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq echoed similar sentiments regarding the close and well knit bonds between the two countries.
China and Pakistan—described as ‘iron-brothers’—base their cooperative strategic partnership on a mutual trust that has stood the tests of times. The year 2015 has made a promising start with increased interaction at all levels and people from different strata of society are expected to make exchange visits to further cement the bonds between China and Pakistan.
The relations between Pakistan and China are unprecedented and are etched in the hearts and minds of the two peoples. Over the past six and a half decades since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China and Pakistan have developed a time-tested friendship wherein bilateral relations grew even closer while the political foundation of their friendship became more solid. The secret of this deep relationship is treating each other with mutual trust and sincerity, supporting each other and cooperating for mutual benefits.
In a world, which is torn with strife and the milieu is marred with trials, tribulations, conflict and distrust, the deep rooted friendship between Pakistan and China holds an air of promise not only for the region but for the world. It is not a relationship between two governments alone but it is between two peoples as “friendship grows in the hearts of the people”. Different governments have come and gone in both China and Pakistan. There have been military governments in Pakistan, interspersed with democratic dispensations but the mutual love, respect and brotherly ties between China and Pakistan have stood firm as a rock. Both nations have stood by each other in their respective moments of ordeal and rejoice at each other’s achievements. The beauty of their connection is that it is for mutual support and not against any foe or adversary.
The world would be a better place if more countries emulated this relationship, which has no strings attached. Other nations weigh their benefits and gains from pursuing bilateral ties or seek alliances against common foes. China and Pakistan are unique in this regard as they do not measure the profit or loss of their brotherly ties nor they are constrained by ethnocentrism; they only seek the betterment of each other. That is the raison d’être of this everlasting bond. It emanates from the heart and is based on true feelings.
The year 2015 will see politicians, artistes, students, journalists, traders, scientists and common citizens visit each other and further reinforce the blood ties between the iron brothers. May the sun always smile on both nations, as their people endeavour to reach greater heights and may the two prosper and see the fruition of their respective dreams to make the world a better place.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily